Why are human beings so intrigued by mysteriousness and the unknown? I find that the bands who reveal the least about themselves are the ones I am always pining to know every detail about. Gateway Drugs, in their disheveled all black uniforms, are exactly this. I, still stumped on what to categorize their sound as, will turn to the band’s own description: “drug pop.” Combining hints of shoe gaze, garage rock, and punk, this Los Angeles-based band is as hypnotizing as you’d expect. They have an interesting background story, too. Three of the four members are the offspring of The Knack’s Prescott Niles. Not to mention, their extremely impressive new record (wish was released in March), was produced by Christopher Thorne of Blind Melon, in Dave Grohl’s Studio 606.
Gateway Drugs’ sound doesn’t exactly blend into what other current bands are producing right now, especially in the L.A. psych-garage saturated scene. Fresh off a tour with legends Swervedriver, they are continuing to blaze the hypothetical “trail” with a few dates supporting Wolf Alice as well. They also recently supported The Jesus and Mary Chain in Toronto, where guitarist Liv Niles, sang “Just Like Honey” alongside the iconic Scottish band. When asked about this bucket list worthy experience she beamed, “I could die right here right now and it wouldn’t even matter.” But, after I’m finished bragging about their efforts, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t heard of them much just yet. The suave foursome are quietly plotting their takeover, and using their newly released full-length, Magick Spells, as their resume. From the first track, “Anu,” you feel the panicked drum beat, and hear the drone-y voice of Liv, followed by the yelp of backup vocals by her brother, Noa. The album continues with similar tracks like “Head,” which drummer, Gabe, sings on. Mid-through the LP the pace slows down a bit with “I’m in Love With a Teenage Heartthrob,” which will remind you of that 90’s throwback you forgot how much you loved. Their live show contains lots of noisy reverb, as well as three of four members alternating lead vocals between each song. Oh, and spoiler alert, they have been closing out their sets with a cover of the catchy Count Five tune, “Psychotic Reaction.” They show no signs of slowing down their tour schedule, so do yourself a favor and don’t sleep on this one.